HMS Bulwark Hosts Number of Ship’s Longstanding Affiliates
- Training & Education
The Royal Navy’s flagship welcomed onboard a number of affiliated organisations during a brief port visit to Valetta, Malta. Now approaching the end of Cougar 13, the men and women of HMS Bulwark hosted a number of the ship’s longstanding affiliates, including 29 scouts from the St Aloysius College Scout Group and members of the George Cross Island Association and Royal Naval Officers’ Association.
The guests were taken on a tour of the Plymouth based, 18,500 tonne amphibious assault ship while members of the company explained her capabilities.
The most popular part of the tour, especially for the Scouts, was the chance to sit in the Captain’s chair on the Bridge.
The affiliation with the St Aloysius College Scouts can be traced to the end of World War Two when, in 1949, a young seaman from the light fleet carrier HMS Triumph taught the cast of the college production of HMS Pinafore to dance the Hornpipe.
The affiliation has remained strong ever since.
The Scouts hold an annual inter-patrol competition on the nearby island of Gozo each November.
The competition involves a 25-30 km trek over two days, during which the troop pass checkpoints where their skills in Scouting and fieldcraft are tested.
Points are scored for their performance with map and compass and in first aid, knotting, Scouting history and current affairs.
The winning patrol is awarded the Bulwark Shield which is held until the next competition and is the culmination of the year’s scouting activities.
Lt Thomas Bowler who was the Ship’s Affiliation Officer for St Aloysius Scout Group and who organised the visit, said:
“It was a great opportunity for our affiliated Maltese scouts to visit the ship to get an understanding of what life is like onboard a deployed operational warship.
“The visit has helped to strengthen the bond with our long held affiliation – the scouts had fun and were very inquisitive throughout.
“The highlight of the day was when the Captain presented the Bulwark Shield to the winning team.”
Press Release, December 09, 2013; Image: Royal Navy